force of habit


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force of habit

n.
Behavior that has become automatic through long practice or frequent repetition.

force′ of hab′it


n.
behavior occurring without thought and by virtue of constant repetition; habit.
[1920–25]
References in classic literature ?
The force of habit was too strong, and even in the hour of death Jane had remembered that a telegram was twenty-five cents, and that Aurelia would have to pay half a dollar for its delivery.
If the exclusion were to be perpetual, a man of irregular ambition, of whom alone there could be reason in any case to entertain apprehension, would, with infinite reluctance, yield to the necessity of taking his leave forever of a post in which his passion for power and pre-eminence had acquired the force of habit.
Pontellier had brought down her key through force of habit.
If they had known that you wished it, the entertainment would have been put off," said the prince, who, like a wound-up clock, by force of habit said things he did not even wish to be believed.
If you wouldn't object to standing by him half a minute, sir,' was the reply, 'I'll find the nearest of our men to come and take charge of him;--I still call it HIM, you see,' said Mr Inspector, looking back as he went, with a philosophical smile upon the force of habit.
Yet such is the force of habit, that not only the vulgar spectators, who are naturally attracted by sights of horror, but even the ladies of distinction who crowded the galleries, saw the conflict with a thrilling interest certainly, but without a wish to withdraw their eyes from a sight so terrible.
The Tin Woodman lay down on his bed from force of habit, for he remembered when he was made of flesh; but not being able to sleep, he passed the night moving his joints up and down to make sure they kept in good working order.
From force of habit, though the small studio with the stove lit was very hot, he kept on his great-coat, with the collar turned up, and his bowler hat: he looked with satisfaction on the four large fiaschi of Chianti which stood in front of him in a row, two on each side of a bottle of whiskey; he said it reminded him of a slim fair Circassian guarded by four corpulent eunuchs.
He produced his everlasting pipe, from sheer force of habit.
He was outwardly calm, but I noticed his hands, which from long force of habit were mechanically straightening the spill vases on the mantel-piece, were shaking violently.
As Miss Barlow rattled away cheerfully, he crumpled up the copy and tossed it into the waste-paper basket; but not before he had, automatically and by force of habit, altered the word "God" to the word "circumstances.
Weller, in a ruminative tone, 'but I never heerd o' one as I can call to mind, 'cept the little dirty-faced man in the brown coat; and that was force of habit.